Conclusion of 1 Samuel 2:22-36: The Prophecy of the Man of G-d

And there came a man of G-d to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the L-RD, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh?

‘Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me?

‘I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.

‘Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?.'”

“Therefore the L-RD, the G-d of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the L-RD declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

‘Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.

‘Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever.

‘The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men.

‘And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day.  And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind.  And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.  And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, ‘Please put me in one of the priests’ places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.'”

1 Samuel 2:27–36

How favored was the house of Aaron?
The Lord told him that forever he would walk before the Lord as his chosen representative to all Israel.
The Lord told him that he would have the blessing of representing the nation before the Lord and walk continually in His presence.  The Lord promised to give him the portions of all the meat offerings and permit him to burn incense before the Lord continually.  How Eli’s house is kicking at, dishonoring, insulting, and making light of the sacrafices of the most High, and treating his priviledge of standing in God’s presnece with contempt and without honoring Him.  Eli is permitting a loose and casual attitude, one of apathy, to seep into the liturgy of the temple. Now, since this is happening, the Lord is about to take away the priesthood from Eli’s house and give it to one who will do all that is in the Lord’s heart, and mind.  And we read in a couple of places in 1 Samuel (2:18, 3:1), that Samuel has properly walked out his life in preparation for this destiny of walking into the priesthood, since he honors the presence of the Lord, while Eli does not. 

Moreover, it takes an itinerant man of God, a prophet, to speak this prophecy at random.

And then, in stark contrast to Hophni and Phneas, Samuel ministers to the Lord and before the Lord and cares only for the glory of God and not whether ro not his basic needs will be met.

Also, at this point, I would say that Hophni, Phineas, and Eli, because of the state of their hearts, were way beyond the point of repentance and persuading God to move in mercy and forgiveness.  The next calling, that of Samuel, was already set into place, due to their hardness of heart.

The question is, do we spend our time in the days of small beginnings despising those beginnings, growing hard, offended and bitter, or embracing them and walking in them to prepare us for the fullness of God’s destiny for us.  Samuel’s understanding of the holiness of the Lord, enabled him to walk blamelessly and into greater things.

Moreover, Samuel, because he did “according to what [was in the Lord’s] heart and mind,” and was without corruption, he would be blessed by the Lord.  He did all that the Lord asked of him, and walked in nearly as Scripture can record, without fault and blame before the Lord, and was blessed.  So much so, that the nation of Israel would tremble at his coming, and the house of Eli would be at Samuel’s mercy.  


When we walk in the fear of the Lord and blamelessly before hin, with no though or care towards the opinions of man, then we will be a force to be reckoned with, and not because we have any power, might, or strength in our hands (Zechariah 4:6).  If we strive to do all that is in His heart and mind and to know all that is on his heart amd mind, and operate and obey according to all that is in his heart and mind, then we will have the authority to carry that understanding and message to the nations of the world, as did Jeremiah did, to set up kings and tear them down.  But only if we know His purpose and plans, and only if we humble ourselves to walk according to all He has given us, in His word. 


And with the exception of the affair with Uriah the Hittite, both Samuel and David walked in this authority and we hated by the establishment and status quo.

One other things that I got from the desk of Jon Greene, that I found fascinating, and makes sense, in the line of prophetic writings.


The passage is also a prophecy about the rise of the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek. In the immediate future, ministry to the Lord would be undertaken by the “sons of Zadok,” or “sons of righteousness.” Of course, the order of Melchizedek (king of righteousness) is the order by which Christ entered into legitimate priesthood and remains to this day the high priest, and we have legitimate claim to be “Sons of Zadok” to this day. Also of interest is that Melchizedek was King of Salem (Peace). So, you have the prince/king of peace ministering to Abram of the BREAD and WINE and receiving tithes from him of the spoils. Ha ha. It’s just epic symbolism.

Concerning Dispensational Pretribblations

I wonder, if dispensationalists in my generation are a dying breed, why are the previous generations, which are fraught with them,  making us look at Scripture through an exegetical lens (dispensationalism) that just does not square with a common sense interpretation of Scripture, in favor of homoletical and hermeneutical acrobatics?  Why are they telling us, “if you disagree with me than that is okay,” one minute while the next minute say “this is what Scripture teaches.”  


Maybe if the translators had used a common sense interpretation of each thought in the New Testament, then we would not be so taken with everybody’s exegetical biases on everything from the end times to salvation to the nitpicking of each canonical phrase and Koine nuance (Piper, Grudem, Dunn, Barclay, Ratzinger, Swaggart, Dake, Torrey, Scofield, Ripplinger, Chick, Ryrie, Fee, McNelley). That is quite a list to wade through.


Why is it that the verses concerning the trumpets and clouds and the appearings of the Lord can’t be superimposed upon one another and seen as all referring to a similar event?


Why is it that the only people that seem to make the most sense on this issue are Marvin Rosenthal, and, according to one of my associates, Mike Bickle (I am in the process of examining Bickle’s analysis and positions on the Revelation)?


Why is it, when this issue, which really is not a big matter in the scheme of things, that those who preach hard and fast on this matter preach so violently against any assault on their position as to make us appear full of the devil himself?

Why do we have to violate so many principles of interpretation in order to make Scripture fit a mold just so it appears that we will escape, no questions asked, when our Lord himself said we should be ready?


Why can we not just be ready and occupy until he returns, and if the man of sin is revealed before we are taken away, or we go through some stuff before the Rapture, we just do what we are told by the Spirit of God?


What are we so afraid of?  Besides sloughing off theological stances and positions that might not hold up in a third world country?  

Are we afraid of nixing the dispensationalist idea that the letter to Philadelphia is completely applicable to us in the present day and pulling Revelation 3:10 away from it’s context and slapping it like a prooftext onto our circumstances, without first thinking it in it’s context through?


Someone answer these questions, please.  And the following…


Are we just being selfish?



1 Samuel 2:22-36 part 2 Summation of the first part-Eli's interaction with his sons (vv. 22-26)

So from the last post on this portion of the Scripture, we gathered all that the Lord was getting ready to do to prepare Samuel to lead and Israel to follow.  

Now let’s consider the text itself verse-by-verse

Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

Eli heard that Hophni and Phineas were sleeping with the women who assembled in front of the tabernacle, turning them into regular shrine prostitutes, and treating the meat offerings of the Lord with contempt and vulgarity.

So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress. If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?”

 And all Eli did was speak to them.  He did not discipline them with actions, but merely with words.

Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.

 Of course, because Eli did not honor God, and every time I read this text, I get the feeling or impression, though Scripture nowhere states it so explicitly, that Eli is a lazy and lackadaisical individual in his attitude toward God, and it is this lazy and lax attitude that causes his sons to act as corruptly as they do.  It seems like Hophni and Phineas do not respect Eli or his leadership and do whatever they want to do.  In this case, they make the choice to disobey their father’s advice, and I also get the feeling that the God may be doing a hardening of the heart, in accordance with their attitudes which have been displayed adequately up to this point in the narrative.  Their actions up to this point demonstrate a stubbornness and hardness of heart, and that they actually do not know God.  From this, I would almost be one to say, “neither does Eli.”


And, as expected, Hophni and Phineas chose to not listen to their father.  This was for two reasons.  1) Hophni and Phineas knew that Eli would do nothing more than lecture them.  He would not execute justice.  This is what happens when parents use only mercy as a tool to correct their children.  Without justice, children learn to disrespect their parents, and the be able to get away with anything they deem available.  More importantly than their understanding of Eli was 2) The LORD knew this would happen, and he knew the depravity of their hearts, that He gave them over to a reprobate and defiled and corrupt mind (Romans 1:21-24), so that He might justly execute his wrath upon them.  What does this say to us?  if we continue in our iniquities, the LORD will judge us eventually.  It may not be today or tomorrow or the next day, but soon the LORD’s just judgment can and must come.


And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.

Samuel, on the other hand, does the exact opposite, growing in his walk with the LORD and in favor with his fellow men.  What a juxtaposition!  This is what causes the fear of the LORD and favor of the LORD and, dare I say it, the anointing of the LORD to rest upon Samuel, it’s his sensitivity toward the LORD and his dedication to the LORD, begun in the womb of Hannah. 
  
Next, part 3, the narrative of the man of God visiting Eli to confirm all that has already taken place, and the sense of judgment that the LORD has purposed.

My interpretation of the passages on women in ministry and what I believe Scripture says on the subject as well as gender roles.

This article has two aims.


First, it aims to interpret several passages in kind.


1 Timothy 2:12
1 Corinthians 14:34
Colossians 4
Ephesians 5


Second it aims to set Scripture’s view on women in ministry in light of their complete context, and (a subject in which I admit I am much weaker) women’s roles in the household. I do not seek to, since I do not know the totality of their arguments, to set my argument within the context of the discussions Grudem, MacAurther, and others have set forth.  Merely, I seek to set forth the interpretations that I have come to.


I have, since coming to Christ, seen several views on the subject of women in ministry.  They are


1. Women should have no place in ordained ministry.
2. Women should teach other women.
3. Women are permitted to function as missionaries, but not as pastors.
4. Women are permitted to pastor, but not as senior pastors (or as “senior teaching authorities,” in the language of John Lindell, of Ozark, Missouri).

5. Women are permitted in every position except oversight (the role of a bishop or as we call in the Assemblies of God, a presyter.
6. Women are permitted to every position, bar none. 


Most of the first through fifth opinion find the basis for this belief in 1 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Corintians 14:34.


1 Timothy 2:12 reads, in context from verse 8 to verse 15, in the NKJV (the translation I happen to have on hand)

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with breaded hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 

Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.

[Moreover,] I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
[Because] Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being decieved, fell into transgression.

Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness, with self-control.



Let’s take this verse-by-verse:

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

This is a continuation from verses 1-7,  and the phrase that follows in verse 9 (“in like manner”) connects verse 9 to verse 8 and both verses to verses 1-7.  Paul singles out the men for prayer and supplication.  Honestly, I do not pretend to know why he does this.  Perhaps the Ephesian context was such that women were not educated or prevented from occupying prominent places in the public arena.  The only place that I do know women occupied for certain in public was as cult prostitutes (One temple in Ephesus employed over 1000, according to the commentary of the Quest Study Bible).  They also, from what I recall, were not permitted an education in that context, and may have been, because of this, easily led astray.  If this were the case, it would have led to the men taking the prominent roles in worship.


Even still, considering the terms Paul used for “man” and “woman” were primarily translated “husband” and “wife” (see 1 Timothy 3:2 and 3:12 for an example of this inconsistent translation) leads me to believe that this passage is talking about household relationships inclusive of times of private marital communion with the Lord rather than ettiquete for public places of worship.  See Colossians 3:18-19 and Ephesians 5:22-33 for a similar prescription for husbands and wives using the same Greek terminology.  I think this passage is part of that whole body of Biblical texts that discuss marriage relationships in the home.  Be that as it may, the text speaks to me that men are to take the lead in initiating worship and communion with the Lord with our wives, and in the context of the Colossians and Ephesians passage (passages where the husband loves his wife) would lead to a greater clarity of marital conduct. 

in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with breaded hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 

Okay all you ladies, time to strip yourselves of the lipstick and mascara and makeup and jewelry,a nd wedding rings, and engagement bands, and my wife who has 7k sitting on her finger and…heh heh.  I think what this communicates is a message that is similar to that of 1 Peter 3:1-5.

Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.

Let the woman learn in silence with all submission.  Again the wife is learning the place of submission, as the husband is also learning the place of sacrifice and death.

[Moreover,] I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

Okay, here is the kicker ladies and gentleman.  I interpret this as saying exactly the following, “I do not permit a wife to teach or have/excercise authority over a man, but to be in silence.”  If you are going to have an application for the modern day it is this.  Look at this verse through a few other verses.  such as the proverb that “a continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike” (Proverbs 27:15).  It’s great for a wife to give her husband counsel and advice, especially if she and he are in the same boat that my wife and I are in.  I have a right to speak to this issue because I am married to an older more experienced woman who is experienced in life and decorum and dress and matters of not looking like a bum.  She has the duty to tell me when I am off base et cetera.  However, a wife does not have the duty to, if the husband is too intimidated to step up to the plate and take the leadership role, to constatnly and naggingly do all in her power to take that position of leadership.  She is to encourage him to grow into all he is designed to be.  I think this is a powerful application.  The concept I gather from this is exactly that griping, complaining, quarreling, usurping, overthrowing type of leadership.  Think Jezebel and Ahab.  Ahab let Jezebel have her way with God’s kingdom.

[Because] Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being decieved, fell into transgression.

Adam did the same thing.  He did what Eve and the serpent did.  He did not step up, and made the choice to follow his wife over obeying God.

Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness, with self-control.
I just received a thought while looking at this verse.  Something completely new, and I am going to share it here and now.  “They” in this verse talks about the children.  There are several proverbs that communicate the idea that a wise and prudent child is a delight to his or her parents.  Remembering that the majority of women of Ephesus frequently practiced prostitution, which would have led to abortions of unwanted children in order to continue the practice of their prostitution, Paul is inserting a dynamic here that would totally shred to pieces that debauched order.  If a woman would step away from that debauched lifestyle to embrace the sacrifice of motherhood, it would begin to eliminate, in a rather revolutionary matter, the prostitution rituals of Ephesus.  Perhaps corporate redemption of the city of Ephesus, which means the deliverance of that community from Diana worship and prostitution bondage, would involve t
his process.  maybe Paul is staking redemption and salvation for the female members of that community on practices that bred idolatry.  Prostitution and whoredomes which were incorporated in the worship of the idols, and fed the religious industry in that community, once ended, would be replaced with childbirth, the raising of families, and through Paul’s teaching, would open the door for the Spirit of God to transform whole sectors of the populace.  I am not saying that having children is the key to a woman’s salvation, but when other gods are placed above the one true God, and those gods, as part of their rituals and worship, require prostitution and, as a result, abortion, then the riddance of those practices and the doing of the right thing makes the community more open to the influence of God through whatever vessel or preacher he chooses to bring.



To sum up, I would say this passage is not talking about how we treat gender roles in the church, but rather in the household.  I would say better passages exist that treat the subject of women in ministry, especially by implication.


Here is a good list


Acts 2 and Joel 2 give good references to the Holy Spirit and the proclamation gifts being poured out on both male and female, all flesh.


The concept that God can do whatever He want with whomever He wants is pretty straightforward.  We do not have the right to tell God what He can and cannot do, even if our narrow interpretations of Scripture do not line up with what THE WHOLE OF SCRIPTURE ACTUALLY SAYS.  

Huldah, Deborah, Mary Magdelene, Priscilla and Aquilla, Junias, Phoebe, Miriam of Exodus, Anna of Luke 2, and other women in the account of Scripture all serve as narrative examples of women at work for the kingdom in various roles of ministry.  

My wife, mother, Oleeta Hardenbrook, Beth Nussel, Melanie Harris, Renee Modica, Michelle Tepper, Deborah Gill, Barbara Cavaness,  and others are the examples I personally know of women I have spent time hearing who definitely have a gifting for the proclamation of the Gospel.  And without my mother explaining the matters of the faith to me, I would not have had confirmation of my conversion experience at the age of four.  Without her, I can say I would not have been a part of the kingdom as early as I became part. 


For me as part of the Methodist and Pentecostal traditions, the placing of limitations of God as to whom he can and cannot use on the basis of their anatomical equipment is simply an indicator of ludicrous insanity that borders on heresy and severe judgment at the hands of God himself.  To be uncomfortable with the idea of God using a woman in a position of leadership is understandable, but to rebel and scream that it’s impossible is a violation of Jesus observation and its logical implication:  With God, all things are possible. 


I hope this blesses and informs.

Enrichment Journal Article, Winter 2005 on Spiritual Gifts and Post-Pentecostalism

This article by a friend of mine sums up the best perspective I have seen on the potential of cessation of the spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14)http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=thepashamm-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0015T963C&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=thepashamm-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1616381434&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr in Pentecostal churches.  An article that everyone should read on the subject

Post pentecostalism? God Forbid

By Joseph L. Castleberry

Pentecostal and charismatic churches across America are facing a new and puzzling trend: postpentecostalization. Reports are frequently heard that some Assemblies of God pastors are pastoring churches that do not accept our pneumatology or allow for the manifestation of spiritual gifts in worship services. At the same time, some churches lament that their pastor neither practices nor encourages others to practice spiritual manifestations.
While reports of declension in Pentecostal worship are not new — as early as the 1920s some Pentecostal leaders were warning that there was declension in our Movement — we may be facing a new wave of declension that is more serious. If so, we must pay serious attention to the renewal of the charismata in our worship services across the Pentecostal-charismatic movement. Not only does our tradition call for renewal, but also faithfulness to Scripture demands it. It is time to consider whether Pentecostalism without expression of the charismata is, in the parlance of the Greek New Testament, an idiotikos Pentecostalism.

Idiotikos Pentecostalism

The term idiotikos is potentially offensive and must be explained. Idiotikos is derived from the Greek word idiotes and has a different meaning from the English word idiot. I do not wish to apply the English word idiot or idiotic to any person or religious perspective. The use of idiotikos is not an epithet, but a goad to reflection.
The concept of idiotikos Pentecostalism is based on 1 Corinthians 14:23, where the apostle Paul warned the Corinthian church that theapistoi and idiotai would think that the members of the church had gone mad if they should enter the service and find them all speaking in tongues at the same time. To understand Paul’s point in this passage, it is crucial to know who the apistoi and idiotai were. Apistoi clearly refers to unbelievers, but Bible translators do not agree on the identity of the idiotai.1
The King James Version renders idiotai as “those who are unlearned.”2 The Revised Standard Version translates the word as “outsiders.”3 The New American Standard Bible translates idiotai as “ungifted men.”4 The New International Version translates the word as “some who do not understand.”5 What is surprising is that these contemporary translations do not reflect the definition provided in the leading New Testament Greek lexicon.
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, edited by Frederick Danker, offers the idea of “layman, amateur”6 for the first definition of idiotes. The lexicon explains that this definition is not intended to express the religious division between laity and clergy, but to stress expertise versus inexpertise in many contexts. Thus, the first definition of idiotes is the idea represented in the King James Version of a person unlearned, uninstructed7 in spiritual gifts.
The second meaning offered by Danker for idiotes is a religious novice or catechumen. References are adduced to show that the term was used in religious contexts to refer to people who attended the services of a particular religion but had not yet become full-fledged members. In discussing 1 Corinthians 14:23, the lexicon states that “the idiotai are neither similar to the apistoi, nor are they full-fledged Christians; obviously, they stand between the two groups as a kind of proselytes or catechumens.”8 Thus idiotai may refer to people who were new believers but who had not been baptized.
A possible New Testament example of the second definition is the disciples at Ephesus in Acts 19:1–7. They had believed in Jesus, had been baptized in John’s baptism of repentance, but had not been baptized in Jesus’ name and had not heard of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 14:23, it seems the first definition applies. The idiotai were new believers who had not yet been instructed about the use of spiritual gifts in Christian worship. Paul’s concern is that these new believers, as well as unbelievers, may become confused or offended by the unruly use of the gift of tongues in corporate worship.

Church-Growth Models

This Pauline concern for the welfare of new believers takes us back to our contemporary situation relative to postpentecostal churches. The popularity among Pentecostal churches of church-growth models such as the seeker-sensitive model or the purpose-driven model has led some pastors, perhaps many, to completely reject charismatic gifts in corporate worship.9 Yet this approach is clearly against what the apostle Paul intends in the passage. Like the missionaries of the early 20th century who were confronted by Roland Allen’s book Missionary Methods, St. Paul’s or Ours? pastors in the United States today must consider whether we are better advised to use our methods of church growth, or those taught by Paul in the Word of God.
Paul makes it obvious in 1 Corinthians 14:23 that he is not opposed to the manifestation of spiritual gifts in public. After warning the church not to abuse the gifts, and especially the gift of tongues that would lead the apistoi and the idiotai to think the church had gone mad, he sums up his argument two verses later:
“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church” (1 Corinthians 14:26).
From this it is clear that Paul’s intention was not to eliminate spiritual gifts from public worship, but to protect them from abuse so they might fully edify believers and convict sinners.
It is important to consider the opposite of idiotikos worship. Manaical worship is the opposite extreme. When Paul said the apistoi and idiotai will think the church has gone mad, he used the word mainomai. Mainomai is related to the English word maniac. Critics of charismatic abuse have done well to call such worship “charismania.” It is the maniacal charismatic expression to which Paul objects. Nevertheless, while it is good to join Paul’s position in opposition to maniacal worship, it would be a grave error to forbid the exercise of the charismata in the process. Genuine Pentecostal-
charismatic worship holds the middle ground.

Who Determines What Model?

Paul’s support of charismata in public worship raises this question: who is going to determine what we allow in our worship services? Will the Word of God determine it or will it be determined by apistoi and idiotai? If it is by the Word, then we will need to ensure that our worship is faithful to God (as opposed to apistos, faithless) and clearly instructed in Scripture. The abuse of spiritual gifts in Christian worship by the unlearned is not acceptable. This fact obligates pastors to instruct their congregations carefully about the use of spiritual gifts.
It is often said that Pentecostals are more embarrassed by the use of gifts in worship than their unbelieving and non-Pentecostal Christian guests. It would seem this embarrassment comes either from being ashamed of the gifts themselves (which is unacceptable) or being ashamed of untutored exercisers of those gifts. In either case, the answer is more and better instruction, not shrinking back from the exercise of spiritual gifts.
On the other hand, if we allow the form of Christian worship to be determined by the apistoi and the idiotai, we must carefully draw out the implications of this decision. First, we allow the unbeliever to define what we can believe in and practice. This is a formula for failure. It is also unfaithful to God who has lavished His grace (charisma) on us. Second, such worship will be idiotikos — being determined by the idiotai.10
Idiotikos worship is the purposeful decision (if not purpose-driven) to refuse to instruct new believers and unbelievers about the biblical use of spiritual gifts. I recently heard an Assemblies of God pastor talk about his new church plant. About 300 people had been added to his church in a year’s time; 150 of them were new believers. He explained he did not want charismatic giftings in his church, since most of the transfer growth was from evangelical churches. He was worried they would be offended by the exercise of spiritual gifts and that new believers could become confused. The answer to this dilemma is apparently to leave everyone in the state he or she was found in. This decision is appropriately termed idiotikos since it puts the doctrinal position of the ungifted and uninstructed, rather than Paul’s teaching, in the driver’s seat of the church.
Another crucial aspect of idiotikos worship is that it is a conscious decision to rest on our own abilities rather than on God’s power. The word idiotes is closely related to the Greek word idios, meaning “one’s own” or “one’s self.” The basic concept of idiotes is that a person is on his or her own. She has not been instructed by others, but left to her own understanding. He is not empowered by the Spirit, but operating on his own strength.

Why A Pentecostal Model?

One hundred years of Pentecostal experience, coupled with the greatest church growth the world has ever seen — church growth that dwarfs that of the Early Church — should have convinced us that we need to rely on God’s power, not our own, for church planting and growth. Postpentecostalism, or idiotikos Pentecostalism, goes against scriptural teaching and against the methods used in the church’s greatest period of success. At the same time, when millions of unbelievers (apistoi) and ungifted cessationists (idiotai) are sailing into the ports of Pentecostal and charismatic churches, the postpentecostals are determining a course that will lead their barks out into the open sea, against the tide and into the storm. The prospects do not seem bright.
In 1 Corinthians 14, the apostle Paul made clear that Christians who are uninstructed about spiritual gifts are not mature (pneumatikos Christians), but idiotai.11 He could not have suspected that within a century most of the church would fit into that category. Idiotikos Christianity, untutored in the use of spiritual gifts and left to its own devices, would drift into liturgical woodenness and spiritual slumber. It would partner with state and empire, substitute its own judgment for that of Scripture, and make that judgment a rigid, unbreakable tradition so tightly tied to the power of a few that it would become a means of oppression. Idiotikos Christian leaders, left to their own devices, would burn other believers (as well as unbelievers) at the stake, kill them with the sword of state and empire, and enforce their power and hegemony over God’s little flock and the unbelieving world as well. Great atrocities like the Holocaust would be committed against God, His people, and against the world Christ died to save by idiotikos Christianity.
Then, the greatest revival in the history of the Church would come. Hundreds of millions of believers would turn from idiotikos to pneumatikos, or spiritual Christianity. Now, at the very hour of the triumph of the Holy Spirit and of the rescue of the human spirit, will we turn back to an idiotikos form of Christianity? Having begun in the Spirit will we seek to be made perfect in the flesh? God forbid.


 
Joseph L. Castleberry, Ed.D., is academic dean at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield, Missouri.

1 Samuel 2:22-36 part 1: verses that serve as the background for this story

Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress. If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them. And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.

Wow! This is sobering. First of all, in the background of all of this, we get a verse here or there about the status of the temple or some comment about the relationship status between God and Israel. Several verses come to my mind from this story arc.

First verse
1 Samuel 1 13-14

Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”

Eli (and I would hazard to say, the rest of Israel) has likely, in his lifetime, never seen someone whose heart burned with zeal for the Lord and someone who desperately poured out their heart in devotion to the Lord. See Romans 8:26-27 for an exposition of what Hannah is doing. She is praying with groanings that cannot be uttered. That is, utterances are something made with the tongue or sensical vocalization. This prayer of Hannah is unutterable and uninterpretable. It is a groaning from deep within.

This is probably the first time in a long time since anyone in the nation of Israel has ever engaged the Lord in this manner. Especially when you consider that in the nation of Israel at the end of the book of Judges, “everyone did what was right in his or her own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

Eli, who has no relationship with the Lord, as is evident from later, assumes she is drunk and accuses her of this. Eli spends the course of his recorded life in the biblical record, judging according to the outward appearance. Samuel would later make the same mistake in his selection of Israel’s second king. Eli does not use the discernment that was, at some point, available to the House of Levi (see Moses and Aaron’s work in Numbers 16 during the rebellion of Korah and the plague against Israel). The only thing that we can infer is that Eli judged Hannah’s outward appearance. This is the mistake we too often make in all sectors of Christianity when we are scared to see someone actually pouring the fullness of their emotions out to the Lord. We are afraid that somehow the person pouring out their life before the Lord is going to disrupt our man made order. When we do that, we get into trouble and interfere with what the Spirit may actually be doing. Let this be a word of warning to all you would-be pastors who are weak in the area of discernment: Do not interrupt what may be happening emotionally in some of your congregants, for the very thing that is happening emotionally, may be the very healing that needs to take place, so that your congregations can ascend to the next level and function in the fullness of the way in which the Spirit designed them to function.

Even in spite of this read the respect of verse 15

1 Samuel 1:15

But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.”

Did you see that. She said, no my lord. No, my Adon (where we get the word Adonai). It is a reverence for the office of Eli and an understanding that the LORD has place Eli, as the descendant of Aaron, in the place of Aaron as the LORD God’s representative. Eli’s relationship and knowledge of the LORD does not influence Hannah’s respect. Rather, it’s her acknowledgment of the LORD’s positioning of Eli, and her reverence for that office that the LORD Himself had establish that guides her attitude. I guarantee that there are many of you who have been placed under leaders that you thought were less anointed or able to hear the voice of God, and in some cases that may be true, but it does not justify the attitude of disrepect you may still be choosing to walk in towards that leader. God’s leader is God’s leader, and if God has placed you somewhere, then it is your responsibility to treat God’s positioned authority with the respect due the office. You may disagree with the organization, with the polity, with the dress code, with the vested political power, but that does not justify rebellion. Only when the authority genuinely steps outside the bounds of God’s word in sacred Scripture do you have a place to speak up, or if you have a legitimate concern or something does not jive with what you feel the Spirit may be saying. And even when you have a concern, you still need to approach the concern with all humility. Leadership responds better when humility and concern are the hallmarks of the flock, instead of arrogance or pride. Hannah’s response to Eli, even though he does not deserve it, is one that we need to emulate towards the leadership that God has placed us under.

Second, Hannah is doing the opposite of drinking. She is offering a drink offering to the LORD, pouring out the very heart and life’s blood of her soul to the LORD. A son would mean the world to her, and it would mean the breaking of a shameful societal stigma. It would produce all sorts of gruit in her life. Moreover, a son would mean that the LORD has favored her. And, what is interesting is Hannah has even made a vow the LORD cannot resist. This is one found in the Law of Moses in Exodus 13:2.

Exodus 13:2 Whatever opens the womb or matrix, whether man or beast, belongs to the LORD.

This is an extension of the principle of tithing. The tithe comes off the top and goes to the LORD, in recognition that God owns absolutely everything. When God sees that you have given him the first portion, then He will bless the rest. When Hannah pledged Samuel to the LORD, the LORD blessed Hannah and gave her 5 more children besides Samuel.

Second Verse
1 Samuel 1:8
And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

Elkanah did not understand her grief. No, Elkanah could not take away her shame. A son was her heart’s desire, and Elkanah refused to see that. Once you attempt to take the place of what a woman truly desires, that woman will begin to despise whatever is attempting to satisfy her desire. Men, take a piece of counsel from this. You cannot satisfy or replace the godly and righteous desire of a woman’s heart, once she has set her mind and affection on something as deep and abiding as a child, you cannot slake that desire at all. Motherly affection is a natural outflow of her being. Perhaps this is a bit of commentary on that passage in 1 Timothy 2 that says “a woman will be saved through childbearing.” Maybe what it means to say is that a woman’s honor in society is partly tied to her ability to bear children, who will be able to carry on the family name and legacy. Without children, a woman has no abiding legacy and no way to leave behind a blessing to this earth.

Third verse

1 Samuel 2:12
Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.

Knowing the LORD and having a relationship with Him was the secret to living a full and honorable life. Not knowing the LORD led to corruption. Eli, it would seem either tried to teach his sons the knowledge of the LORD, and it did not take with them, or he did nothing. Either way, knowing the LORD is a key theme in all of Scripture, and because they did not know the LORD, they could not leave a spiritual legacy to Israel.

Fourth verse

1 Samuel 2:25b
Nevertheless the sons of Eli did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.

This is where the LORD decides to move next in this account (the first movement being the birth of Samuel in response to Hannah’s dedication). It’s His desire to place in the office of high priest, one who will do all His will. Samuel is this man.

Fifth verse

1 Samuel 3:1
Now the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days there was no widespread revelation.

During the events described in 1 Samuel 2, Samuel, as a boy, was minsitering to the LORD. It was probably the first time in many generations that someone who actually knew the LORD (read “had a working relationship with Him”) stood in the office of priest and ministered to and worshipped Him without pretense or hidden or corrupt agenda.

The sad state of the second verse was the state of Israel. Their relationship with their God had stagnated and deteriorated that they chose not to and could not hear Him. Because his people chose not to hear Him, why would He bother speaking to them?

These verses set the stage for what is about to be prophesied to the house of Eli. Due to their refusal to seek God and have a relationship with Him, He is about to seek after a priest who will do according to all that is in His heart and mind.

After you die, You will meet God?


So, I was in the car on the way home from Philadelphia, when my wife and I saw the following billboard
Kresha, my wife, was talking to me about this billboard, and wondered what the verse was.
Remembering that Revelation 1:6 is the kings and priests verse, I recalled the context and said to her that Revelation 1:7 said something to the effect of “Behold, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him.”
My wife asked, “Why would they use that verse with that comment?”
I replied, “Well, why not?”
“That verse is not about dying. It’s about the Second Coming.”
“Well, I can see how that verse could be used. Regardless of who is dead or alive at His coming, every eye will indeed see him. At some point, every eye will indeed see him.”
“But still, it’s not talking about the dead rising, it’s talking about His return.”
My wife had a point. This verse was taken out of context, and there would have been better verses to use with that statement. More bumper-sticker theology, as my old pastor used to stay.
But, then I got to thinking. There is a point for using that verse, out of context though it may be.
When you consider that we humans are currently corraled in the cage of time. We have events that happen in sequence. We grow old, have children, build a career, and die at some point. Then when we die, we enter into eternity, and somehow we come off the timeline. Time flows differently on that side of eternity. I do not know how, but it does indeed.
And the billboard grabbed me. When we die, and enter into eternity like the thief on the cross did, we will see Him. As lightning flashes from the east to the west, so shall the appearing of the son of man be.
Every eye will see him, and many will weep on account of Him.
When you die, you do meet Him. And you will give an account.
It has nothing to do with when you meet Him, but THAT you will meet Him.
What will be your standing?
Will the Spirit give witness that you are His child?
He gives witness to all redeemed.
At that point, your offenses and unforgiveness will not matter. It will only be you and Him. No others. None of your friends, or even family members.
What account will you give Him on the day that every eye will see Him?
Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who have pierced Him, and all nations will weep because of Him.
Blessings on your day, and may you think about what will happen on that day. Your eternity depends on what happens now.

1 Samuel 2:15-21

But Samuel was ministering before the L-RD- a boy wearing a linen ephod. Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the L-RD give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the L-RD.” They they would go home. And the L-RD was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the L-RD.
Samuel wos ministering before the L-RD and grew up in His presence. And as a result of Hannah’s giving up the firstfruits of her very womb, according to the Law, G-d multiplied the fruit of her womb over and over and over again, to the point where she had FIVE chidlren besides Samue l, and they grew up in the presence of a mother and father who cherished them very much, and this modeled the love of G-d to the children, and for us to show us how well the L-rd carried for Samuel. This family, at least from the perspective of Hannah, had gone from being a dry barren desert, to a fruitful vineyard. And Hannah’s dedication of the firstfruits, Sameul, to the L-rd, was the breaking point for all of this.
It just shows that when we dedicate the first portion to the L-rd, in recognition that He owns everything, how much he can do with the rest and bless us above and beyond what we can ask, think, or imagine.

1 Samuel 2:17

Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the L-RD, for the men treated the offering of the L-RD with contempt. (1 Samuel 2:17)

They held the offering of the L-rd with contempt…
hese are Eli’s sons who ate the fat of the priest’s offering, slept with the women who served in the temple, and neither listened to or respected their father. But more than that, they “did not know the L-rd.”

Remember what happened in Matthew 7 when Jesus said there would be some who cried out “L-rd, L-rd” who would not enter the kingdom of heaven? It was because He did not know them. There was no relatonship there.
So it was with Eli’s sons, and, I would contend, with Eli. Eli made no attempt to cultivate a relationship with the L-rd, just like much of Israel. That was dangerous. To be serving in the L-rd’s temple without knowing Him is a dangerous place.
And it was because they held the offering of the L-rd with contempt...
That phrase leapt off the page at me, so I asked myself the following:

“How do we treat His offering with contempt?”

We do that when we do not pay Him His due in worship, when we do not honor Him for the liberty He has given us, when we give His tithes with contempt and grudgingly, and, when an issue that involves forgiveness exists between our brother and us and we refuse to make things right.

If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 5:23-24)

This is the passage that deals with us receiving forgiveness from our brother or sister for wronging him or her. If we do not make things right with our brothers, then our attitude toward our offering is one of contempt. The priority in the eyes of the kingdom of G-d is relationships, and real restoration of those relationships, between us and G-d and us and our fellow man or woman.

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Matthew 11:25)

This has to do with how we treat others who offend us. Jesus, in both of these passages, is putting the ball in our court to take the active role in making things right. He is not shouldering the responsibility on others. It never has anything to do with the other person; rather, it is about you and I taking that personal responsibility before the kingdom to be obedient and to take the initiative to make things right.
The old saying is that we cannot change anyone except for ourselves. I think that is why Jesus is telling each factor in the relationship to take the initiative, because each of us cannot be sure that the other person in the relationship will.
Offense is what holds us from being able to completely offer ourselves up to the L-rd, regardless who who else is involved. Offense and unforgiveness are the two things that will always hold the offering of the L-rd with contempt.
Also important to this case is 1 John. In that letter, John treats us to a discourse on how we treat others, and whether or not the love of G-d and the knowledge of G-d really are within us. I could cite any passage from chapter 4, or chapter 1.
But suffer to say, the entire letter bears reading and taking to heart if we are to keep ourselves from holding the things of G-d, the offerings of G-d with contempt.

I Samuel 2:1-10

1 “My heart exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

2 “There is none holy like the Lord;

there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
6 The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
8 He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord‘s,
and on them he has set the world.

9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the power of his anointed.”

Not sure I agree with Hannah’s theology completely, but I understand why she is saying all this. Let’s take it verse by verse

“My heart exults in the L-rd;
my strength is exalted in the L-rd.

Her G-d is the source of her strength. Because the L-rd acted on her behalf, her strength is brought to it’s full manifestation, out of her place of weakness and barrenness. She is plainly giving worship to G-d, who is responsible for her becoming pregnant.

My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

Because the L-rd has saved her from a place of shame, which was assigned those who were incapable of having children, she derides those who create adversity for her.

“There is none holy like the L-rd;
there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our G-d.

There is nothing comparable to G-d himself. There is no place of security as Him.

Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.

Pride has no place in the place of blessedness. She only was blessed to the fullest for two reasons. 1) G-d is good and great. 2) He gives grace to the humble.

The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.

The position of the mighty and feeble are switched in the kingdom. G-d gives strength to the humble, and breaks the strength of the mighty.

Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.

Again, circumstances are switched from the norm when G-d involves Himself.

The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

G-d is sovereign over all life and all circumstances.

The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.

Again, see verses 5 and 6.

He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the L-rd‘s,
and on them he has set the world.

Again, sovereignty of G-d is Hannah’s message.
“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,

but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.

He will guard the paths of His own, and His enemies will be brought to nothing but confusion. See Zechariah 4:6 for the last phrase. Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of G-d.

The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the power of his anointed.”

This is the best phrase in this whole passage. This is the bit that jumped out at me. I thought of the passage in Psalm
18 where it says that “at the blast of His nostrils the foundations of the earth were laid bare”. He is in complete control.

Against His enemies He will THUNDER IN HEAVEN! That is the voice of the seven thunders, speaking from heaven, and HE THUNDERS to come to the defense of the helpless of His children against his adversaries. Indeed, if G-d is for us, who can be against us? Hannah speaks prophetically according to the Spirit of G-d that His might is demsontrated. This echos what we saw on Mt. Sinai in the Exodus. The mountain was covered in smoke, fire, ash, and peals of thunder and flashes of lightning.
For the second half of the verse, read Psalm 2:
He will judge the nations of the earth and hold them in derision. He will break them in pieces like pottery (Psa 2:8).
Wow.
This is the identity of the all-powerful G-d who changed Hannah’s circumstances, and he will do the same for us.
Whatever our circumstances are, and our adversity…
Whatever principality or power or authority or wickedness in heavenly places…
G-d will be for us and deliver us, and we can count on Him to thunder in heaven when the circumstances require it.